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What Would You Serve For A Buffet Style Brunch?

If you were going to have a buffet style (informal) brunch at your house, what foods would you serve? If you can, please narrow it down to four or five items.

I actually am planning on having a buffet style brunch in a few weeks, but will need to do it on a tight budget. It will be an open house type event, so most people will be standing up while eating. I'd appreciate any ideas...thanks.

-R

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  1. I think I would need to know where you are. I'm in CA and I love to do a Mexican style brunch. That probably wouldn't play in Boston...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Gail

      breakfast enchilladas are nice and easy....stuff with scrambled eggs, peppers, onions, sausage, homefires, salsa, jalapeno peppers, cheddar cheese...top with salsa and cheddar cheese and heat through...delicious!

      1. re: Gail

        I'm in Connecticut....need something more basic than a Mex style brunch.

        1. re: ctflowers

          frittatas and stratas work really well as finger foods...just cut them into bite-sized pieces, or bake egg "scrambles" or frittatas in mini muffin cups. they're also versatile flavor-wise - you can do different varieties, sweet & savory.

          mini-muffins would also work.

      2. While we don't know how much you want to cook before hand for this brunch.... I suggest a variety of breads and sweet rolls, butters & cheeses, egg dishes, sliced meats and/or sausages, smoked fish, fruits, coffee & tea....a couple of simple desserts would finish off the buffet.

        Depending on your guests - a Bloody Mary, Bellini, Mimosa... or fruit juice station would be nice as they arrive.

        Pick and choose among the lot to come up with your own personal menu.

        1. For stand up brunch events, finger foods or small bites work well. My fav "food carriers" are those gold & silver foil cupcake liners.

          French toast triangles with maple glaze brushed over ahead of time
          Fresh fruit (orange & grapefruit sections, pear sliced, pineapple work well) on skewers
          Mini quiche (baked right in those cupcake liners)
          Roasted potatoes or potato pancakes
          Mimosa, bloody mary's or juice

          6 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            HillJ
            The next time you throw a brunch, may I please be invited?.. Pleeeeeze??? :-}

            1. re: Tay

              Tay, consider yourself invited. Just be sure to bring flowers! :)

              1. re: HillJ

                Hillj
                Absolutely!. lol! I always bring good stuff and I always help clean up! :-}

                1. re: Tay

                  Flowers & clean up offers-hey Tay, you've got a job!

                  1. re: HillJ

                    Hillj
                    Since the one I already have doesn't come with brunch, your's sounds ever so much better lol!

                    1. re: Tay

                      Sounds like the OP has things well at hand, Tay.
                      Good luck ctflowers.
                      Political events, art gallery openings, ribbon cutting ceremonies aren't difficult. Just smile no matter what you serve.

          2. Spiral cut ham, re-cut so it slices into smaller slices, frittata, mini-bagels w/various spreads, fruit salad...

            1. It's hard to say exactly -- without knowing how many people and how tight a budget.

              But some kind of fresh fruit -- sliced on a platter or a fruit salad would be important. Juices, coffee, tea, etc. Some kind of coffee cake or danishes, some quiche and/or a baked egg strata (with breakfast meat of some kind). It stretches the meat but makes a nice buffet. You could also do a baked french toast casserole with apples. THese things are nice because they can serve a lot of people, aren't expensive, and can be mostly made ahead and just cooked or reheated that morning. You might also want to do one lunch-type dish -- a chicken salad or small sandwiches. Enjoy!

              3 Replies
              1. re: eamcd

                Look up Paula Deens french toast it is amazing and serves 6-8 people.
                A veggie fritatta
                fruit

                1. re: eamcd

                  eamcd, do you have a great French Toast Casserole with Apples recipe??? If so, could you post it here?
                  thanks,
                  -R

                  1. re: ctflowers

                    Let me look for it -- I do have one....

                2. I've done a great smoked salmon and potato casserole (can post the recipe if you'd like). The idea of a ham is a good one too, served with rolls or biscuits. Prepare a nice fruit platter. If it's nearby, Costco croissants might be a good option with your budget, too-they heat up nicely.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: sweet ginger

                    I would love that recipe!

                    1. re: alex8alot

                      here you go-can't remember where I came across it, but it's delicious! You can also assemble this the day before, hold in fridge overnight, let the casserole sit at room temp for about 30 min., then bake as directed the next day.
                      Smoked Salmon and Potato breakfast casserole
                      2 c. cubed baguette (about 1/2" cubes)-do not remove crust
                      2 Tbs. butter
                      2 Tbs. veg. oil
                      1 lb. potatoes, peeled & cubed- 1/2" dice
                      1/2 c. finely chopped shallots
                      1/2 lb. smoked salmon fillets- skinned, flaked into bite-size pieces
                      3 Tbs. minced chives
                      2 tsp. minced dill
                      4 eggs
                      1 c. half & half
                      3 Tbs. sour cream
                      1 tsp. dijon
                      1/2 tsp. salt
                      1/4 tsp. pepper

                      Heat oven to 400 degrees and bake cubed baguette about 5 min. until pale golden; set aside to cool. Butter an 11x7-inch baking dish. In a large skillet (12-14"), heat butter and oil over med-low heat, add potatoes. Stir, cover, and cook until potatoes are almost tender (about 8-10 min). Then uncover skillet, increase heat to med-high, and cook until brown and tender (about 5 min). Add shallots & saute until softened. Remove from heat & add bread, salmon, chives, and dill. Mix gently and pour into baking dish. Beat eggs with the half & half, sour cream, mustard, salt and pepper and pour over the salmon/potato mixture. Let stand about 15 min, occasionally pressing bread into egg mixture. (At this point you can cover it & chill for the next day, or go ahead & bake). Bake uncovered casserole in a preheated 350 degree oven about 30 min, until egg mixture is set. Serve with additional sour cream, capers & dill.

                      1. re: sweet ginger

                        sweet ginger, this recipe sounds amazing! Do you have any idea how many servings it makes?

                        -R

                        1. re: ctflowers

                          When I last served it, it was part of a buffet brunch- so it's hard to determine exact servings. So depending on the menu you're serving, it could be anywhere from 8/10-12/15?

                        2. re: sweet ginger

                          thank you for posting, it sounds great. can i use cream or milk instead of half and half? it wouldn't change the texture, would it?

                          1. re: alex8alot

                            I can't imagine it would change considerably, since you're combining it with eggs to make a custard, but I'm not a food scientist. I suppose if you were making it spur of the moment and that's all you've got on hand, then sure, I don't hesitate to substitute. But usually, if I'm going out to buy the salmon, the baguette, etc- might as well get the half and half!

                    2. I'd go southern. Spiral sliced ham with hot biscuits and fluffy eggs. Perhaps you could make some sausage gravy, cornbread and crispy homefries with onions and pepper. Serve mimosas with a mint garnish and a lovely fruit salad.

                      15 Replies
                      1. re: Fuser

                        Sorry everyone...I forgot to give enough details in my original post.
                        This brunch will be an "open house" meet & greet for a large neighborhood in addition to candidates running for local office. It will be from 11:00am to 2:00pm...people will just come and go.
                        As to the number of people who will attend, I have no idea! It could be 20, or it could be 50 or 75. We're not asking for rsvp's.
                        I was thinking of making scrambled eggs ahead of time & keeping them in a large slow cooker (crockpot) on warm, maybe serving mini-bagels & cream cheese, a fruit salad, cranberry bread, banana bread, coffee, hot tea, and water.

                        Opinions?

                        1. re: ctflowers

                          The eggs in a crockpot idea does not send me. Don't know why. I would think in terms of things that reheat easy, stay decent if left out for awhile and naybe can freeze if you have a low turnout. There are several egg-based brunchy dishes on the Land o Lakes website and some can be prepared the night before and just cooked the morning of the event. I would make sure to have loads of bagels, rolls and spreads, in case you have a big turnout. You may be able to economize by making your own lox spread and/or veggie cream cheese rather than buying by the pound. Costco baked goods are a great idea. They are really pretty good, for the most part and very reasonably priced. Before you decide what you are going to do, think about how much good help you will have to prep the day/night before and the morning of the event, as well as how much you want to be near an oven if you have to heat things during the event. Definitely include at least orange juice in addition to coffee, tea and water.

                          1. re: Shayna Madel

                            An eggy casserole such as a frittata or quiche would work better than the crockpot-held eggs. Also after 1:00pm or so, people would have probably brunched or lunched, so maybe you can lighten up on the entrees then.

                            1. re: Sarah

                              I was going to suggest quiche also--easy to make and doesn't have to be served hot.

                              You might also want to look at a breakfast "strata" casserole, especially because you can fix it the night before and bake in the morning.

                              Muffins, etc. as others have suggested are a great idea and will keep for a couple of days if your turnout isn't huge.

                          2. re: ctflowers

                            If you have no idea how many people will show, nor what time between 11-2 they will arrive, you might want to ditch the scrambled eggs idea. There is only so long you can heat/warm scrambled eggs before they become rubbery and if people are standing, you want to avoid foods that require utensils. Unless there is enough seating, people will need to hold a plate and a drink, . A much better and more economical idea twould be to make some quiches in 13" x 9" pans and cut into small squares. Spinich and ham/cheese are the most popular and easy to make.ahead and serve at room temperature . Easy to plate/serve/eat. Opt for mini bagels, (order them ahead so you can be sure of getting a variety) with a variety of cream cheeses, EG: Walnut raison, Veggie, strawberry, butter, jam, if you can afford clear plastic cups and spoons, fruit salad is a nice idea and the banana and cranberry breads you mentioned as well. If you have a lot leftover, most of these things can be saved. I don't know what you have available in your area. Here we have a chain called Bagel Boy. They make mini corn, blueberry, bran amd choco chip muffins that are reasonable and delicious. Remenber: If getting cream cheese, make sure to get a few doubles so you don't have to put it all out at once.
                            To save money, make a punch with OJ, cranberry juice and club soda or, some cheap chanpagne. Throw a container of fruit sherbet in and you have a winner.

                            1. re: Tay

                              Tay, thanks for the great ideas! I think I will forget about the scrambled eggs idea as a few of you mentioned I should do....quiche sounds very good!

                              Thanks,
                              -R

                            2. re: ctflowers

                              I think you don't want to try scrambled eggs. Did you ever go to a restaurant brunch buffet and look at the scrambled eggs? They only look good (appetizing) when first put out. Frittatas are meant to be eaten at room temperature. That would be better, I think. And you can make them with several different fillings.

                              Also several quick breads and some doctored up butters and spreads.

                              1. re: yayadave

                                I made some mini frittatas for a breakfasty/brunch thing, inspired by a recipe in The Family Kitchen by Debra Ponzek. I baked them in mini-muffin tins, and they looked darling. You can easily make a variety of fillings this way too, if desired.

                              2. re: ctflowers

                                I just would like to tell you that scrambled eggs made ahead of time and kept warm for too long will turn a greenish color in some area, I don't know why but it does. just wanted you to be aware of that.

                                1. re: TDEL

                                  Oooh, I don't want to serve "green" eggs......okay, I'm ditching my original scrambled eggs idea!

                                  -R

                                2. re: ctflowers

                                  ctflowers,

                                  If you serve eggs in a crockpot your event will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

                                  Since you are having so many people in and out of the house, you obviously don't want to be in the kitchen the entire time. Since you are on a tight budget a caterer is out of the question, and that is when Costco becomes your best friend.

                                  First. place a call or go visit the bakery. You can pre-order nearly all of their baked goods, muffins, breads, croissant, and bagels. Seconod, order large fruit trays. Load up on lox, smoked trout, etc,. In the freezer section they have frozen quiche. You can choose either the mini quiche or the larger. Personally I'd go with the larger and cut into triangle wedges. Quiche is a great option as it can be served warm, but is just as good at room temperature. Also, a spiral cut ham would be lovely.

                                  If you have the budget, go with a few packages of pre-cubbed cheese as an extra bonus - the pre-cubed cheese at costco is remakably well priced, and not a bad product.

                                  Coffee, tea, orange juice, or a nice orange punch in a punch bowl.

                                  If you just arrange everthing on nice platters, and refill as needed you should be able to enjoy the open house nearly as much as your guests.

                                  1. re: kkak97

                                    Thanks for all the great ideas! I don't belong to Costco, but I do belong to BJ's, so I'll definitely go there for bagels. I'll check out their frozen quiche...I've seen the mini quiche there, but have no idea how many are in a large box of the cost. It could be more cost effective for me to make them from scratch, but I don't know at this point.

                                    Thanks,
                                    -R

                                    1. re: ctflowers

                                      BJ's/Costco is a very good idea.but if you are a Baker, nothing will be more cost effective than making your own breads/quiches. I make mine with Mozzarella, but I'm sure you will find all sorts of delicious recipes right here using more traditional ingredients. There is an amazingly easy Bisquick recipe that is part of the Bisquick "Impossible series. I have made it, substituting bacon for the sausage (a matter of preference)
                                      Magically, the Bisquick forms the crust, thus the impossible part :-}
                                      Here's the recipe.
                                      Whatever you do, please let us know how it goes.
                                      I wish you the best with your event :-}
                                      :
                                      http://busycooks.about.com/od/impossi...

                                      1. re: ctflowers

                                        Okay, call me a bagel snob, but bagels are the one thing that I would not buy at a warehouse club. If you have anyone who can get you into Costco rather than BJs or Costco is willing to give you some sort of one-day trial pass, I would do it, simply because at least around where I go, the Costco baked goods are more varied and taste much better. Ordinarily, for most things, homemade is the cheaper way to go, but not always. You kinda have to know your prices and only you know whether or not you can handle cranking out enough food for such a potentially large group of people or whether you can recruit the right person(s) to help you. Definitely report back to the hounds.

                                        1. re: Shayna Madel

                                          I agree. Bagels are already super cheap - what, $0.60 each? - so I wouldn't skimp there. But I wouldn't make them myself, either, because of the hassle and my lack of a wood-burning oven (for Montreal-style).

                                3. Croquettes and/or warm bread pudding w/ fresh fruits shouldn't break most folks' banks. The croquettes are a little more complex in preparation and cooking - please double-fry them - but still not hard to do and the main ingredients (russets and preferably panko bread crumbs) are relatively affordable. You can toss in some sauteed onions and seasoned ground meat or soyrizo or tempanade (or whatever else suits your tastes) with the mashed potatoes to season it. For a sauce, you can use tonkatsu sauce (found in Japanese markets) or mayo mixed with some diced shallots, small amount of girkins, a dash of ketchup and tobasco. Serve these with a side of scrambled eggs, and most folks will be close to done.

                                  The same goes for bread pudding - bread, eggs, and cream. I'm in So Cal, so I don't know what fresh fruits are currently available in your 'hood, but I'm sure you could use bananas (flamb'ed or Fosters would be great with bread pudding) and some more cream or caramel/chocolate syrup - maybe even some shredded coconut on the side for those who like this. Pears or apples prepared the same way as the bananas would work as well.

                                  Inexpensive sparkling wine and orange juice makes a mimosa but add a slice of orange or pineapple, and the nose will tell the brain that it's better than the sum of the parts.

                                  1. I'm your basic New Yorker types -- so bagels and smoked salmon and/or whitefish salad w/sliced tomatoes/onions/cukes cream cheese and the like are always good. Minibagels are better than the ginormous types they sell in a lot of places since people like to try a lot of different things. I usually make a few frittatas -- spinach and feta; zucchini/onion/peppers/mozzarella or any kind that send you and they're good because you can make a lot and if you have fewer people just cut in wedges and freeze for weekday breakfast; An assortment of muffins and quickbreads with jams and butter. A fruit salad. Lots of coffee and oj - fresh, if possible - and if the budget can handle it mimosas and/or bloody Mary's and you're there. I don't find that pancakes or french toast hold really well on a buffet or are great stand-up kinds of food.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: KingsKetz

                                      kingsketz
                                      Sounds yummy but since the OP mentioned a 'tight budget' and is expecting an unknown number of people, I think the whole lox/whitefish, thing would not work.
                                      The rest sounds great.

                                      1. re: Tay

                                        Probably true on the lox tho the Costco whitefish is quite reasonable and will last a long time in the fridge afterwards. Frankly it's one of my favorite weekday breakfast treats.

                                        Well, hmmmmm OP could get some creamed cheese with smoked salmon. But since the number of people are unknown I was trying for things that could be frozen or would keep in the fridge if not as many as was planned for showed up.

                                        One other thought - if it's not too weird - my niece gave me a reciped for apple spiced oatmeal that is baked. It has a lot of milk, cinnamon and apples in it and can be kept warm in a crockpot and served individually. Now that the weather is finally cooler it might be a nice thing to have.

                                        There's also a great recipe on Epicurious for a blintz casserole that I've served to large groups that really easy to make - you use the blender - and fairly inexpensive. I can give you the link if it's of interest.

                                    2. I think it's good to remember that you don't have to have enough of everything for all the people who might come. If you have some bagels and lox, when they're gone, you put something else out. Same with frittatas or egg stratas. And the emphasis should shift, any way, as Sarah mentioned. Later you might want to put out cheeses, crackers, dips, salamis.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: yayadave

                                        Guys...
                                        Remember: "Tight budget" and the OP's second posting mentioning that she has no idea how many people might show up. Cheeses, salami,, etc begin to become costly very quickly, especially if you have no idea how many people will be stopping by. Dips are never, ever a good idea at these events. Messy and very quickly unsightly, There is also some political overtone. Once you start varying the menu, the next day you start having people commmenting that some people were served better foods than others.

                                        1. re: Tay

                                          And though I LOVE smoked fish, it smells and despite how neatly you eat, it gets on your hands and is hard to get off. Nothing like a bunch of stinky-handed politicians shaking hands while trolling for votes...

                                          1. re: Shayna Madel

                                            Tooo true and doubly tooo funny!

                                            1. re: Shayna Madel

                                              So - a bunch of politicians smelling fishy - Right. Couldn't resist.

                                              1. re: Shayna Madel

                                                LOLOL.....my husband is running for one of the Town Council seats. I don't want him to lose votes because his hands smell like smoked fish!
                                                -R

                                              2. re: Tay

                                                Tay, very good points! I personally absolutely love lox & bagels, but lox will get too pricey, since I have no idea how many people will show up. Also, because of the political overtone, I don't want to serve any kind of alcohol, not even a "champagne" punch or bloody mary's. I don't need candidates running for local office drinking a little too much, LOL.

                                                -R

                                            2. I would bake some mini scones and/or muffins. Maybe buy some bagels. Make a strata - I think there was a recent post about cooking on in a pumpkin that looked easy and seasonal - i think mollyomormon posted it. I have made italian sausage strata that went over well and is so easy. Also on the veggie side there are a lot of options, like sun dried tomato. I also agree with a fresh fruit salad. Since it is late in the day, you might want to add pita with hummus or something like that that is cheap - muhammarah for something easy to make that always gets people excited. Also a good cheap mid-day thing is roasted winter squash or sweet potato salad, glazed with an orange glaze (just boil down orange juice until it is think and put it on in the last bit of roasting - we often season some, but on the fly). Add some roasted apples. All reasonable ingredients.

                                              If you want to put in some work - make a bunch of crepes. Super easy to make and can be filled with all sorts of things. People think they are so fancy, they store well overnight, and are super cheap to make. I think we have had the best reception to crepes.

                                              The final trick to cooking on a budget is to not offer too many options. More options, the more people eat/waste. Pick about 4-5 things at a time, and choose things that freeze well for baked goods so that you can at least enjoy any leftovers.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: jsaimd

                                                I will definitely make muffins (I didn't even think of that before you mentioned it...so, thanks!) I think the mini-muffins would be perfect. I don't want to be in the kitchen the day of the event, so I'm going to try to prepare all of the food ahead of time, so I can enjoy the event too!

                                                -R

                                              2. I would make a strata. It's a basic breakfast egg casserole. You can doctor it up with anything that fits your fancy. Also, you make it the night before and refridgerate it, so it's a really fast prep in the morning.

                                                http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs...

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: HilaryAnn

                                                  HilaryAnn, thanks so much for the link to cdkitchen! I actually found a recipe called "Breakfast Everyone". It's a slow cooker recipe for a hash brown/ham Quiche that you cook overnight in the slow cooker/crockpot, so it wouldn't require any prep work for me in the morning...it takes 10-12 hours to cook on low, so it would be ready the morning of the brunch. I might use bacon instead of the ham. So, now I think I'll serve this instead of the mini-quiche.

                                                2. Great ideas thus far... I'd do...

                                                  Frittata slices
                                                  Scones w/ Jam
                                                  Grilled Fruit Kabobs and Roasted Veggies
                                                  Waffle Bar or French Toast Bar/Strata
                                                  Chicken Sausage (love TJ's mushroom asiago)

                                                  1. You'll have to make your final decision on the menu based on the level of the contribution people will be making to attend the brunch. Remember that it's a political event, not social entertaining. Your task is to get your husband elected, not spend your time in the kitchen minding the food service, nor spend the campaign funds on feeding the true believers rather than on yard signs and brochures.
                                                    I've done a lot of campaign fundraising and organizing and at a certain level people really don't expect more than coffee and donuts. For many of the menus suggested here, I wouldn't let anyone walk through the door for less than $100 and I'd make sure that there was help in the kitchen. With that, people might well expect a Bloody Mary with their brunch food. Vodka's cheap.
                                                    Since your budget is tight - and it will always be in any campaign - talk to some of the old pros and see what they suggest. You might be planning something much more elaborate than you need to worry about.
                                                    Ask for help. That's what they're there for. Nobody wins elections alone. You shouldn't have to guess on this event.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: MakingSense

                                                      MakingSense, you have many valid points. Yes, this is a political event, however (please don't gasp!) we are not requiring any campaign contribution in order for people to attend our brunch. We are inviting approximately 130 households from our neighborhood. Out of those 130 households, we only personally know 4, so we're trying to get neighbors to attend who have never met my husband...those are all potential votes, therefore, we don't want to require a contribution to attend. Most of the other 40-60 people invited are on our Town Committee...of those committee members, I can guess that only about 12-15 will attend, because they are the same members who attend our committee meeting each month, and out of those, 8 are also running for Town Council (same ticket-part of our "team")

                                                      At this point, my food ideas are:
                                                      Mini-Quiche (or regular size quiche cut into small pieces-make ahead/freeze)
                                                      Mini-Muffins (I'll bake ahead of time & freeze)
                                                      Mini-Bagels, cream cheese
                                                      Either a french toast & apple casserole (cooked a day ahead of time,kept warm in slow cooker) or some type of potato or hash brown casserole.
                                                      Cheese, hard salami (for later in the event)
                                                      Crackers (for later in the event)
                                                      Brownies (for later in the event)
                                                      Plenty of coffee, hot tea, and water

                                                      One of my friends has offered to help out, so I don't plan on spending time in the kitchen the day of the event.

                                                      Question for you, would it be "tacky" to put out a jar for (voluntary) campaign contributions???

                                                      Thanks,
                                                      -R

                                                      1. re: ctflowers

                                                        Welcome to politics. You'll have to get over conventional social concepts of "tacky" but you can still control things nicely and put your own personal, lovely signature on events held for your husband, particularly in your own home.
                                                        There should be a small sign-in table at the front door so people can write down their names, addresses and email addresses. You'll have campaign literature there and information about contributing so you won't need a "jar" which does look tacky. The campaign can follow up later with people who seem interested in helping with the effort.

                                                        Since the main focus of this event is to get to know people, you want them to circulate as much as possible. Think about serving only foods that can be picked up with fingers, put on a napkin and carried away from the buffet table. (You don't want them hanging out there.) That rules out plates and forks. Also fixing your own bagels with toppings. Even cheese and crackers. You can get away with this because of the hours of the event.
                                                        Coffee, tea, juices, water in pitchers. Cookies, brownies, mini-muffins, slices of pound cake, small danish, apple wedges dipped in Fruit Fresh to keep them from browning, strawberries, crudité, etc. If you decide to add cheese and salami, it's better to keep it to the really basic stuff and you might even think of pre-slicing, even if we all hate doing that. Nothing messy because there will be a lot of hand-shaking going on.
                                                        Keep the focus to a "coffee" rather than a "brunch." Plenty of time for that later for campaign workers and contributors when you have a better idea of how many there will be and you have people to reward.

                                                        It's good that you have arranged for help. Get as much as you can. Bodies also look good for political events - like there is a lot of support for the candidate - so ask the members of the ticket/team to arrive early and stay at the party. Email every member of that Town Committee and ask them to at least drop by for ten minutes. Promise that you'll go to their events too. Nobody wins elections alone.
                                                        Your husband is fortunate to have you helping. Hard as it is to believe the wives of some candidates I've worked for haven't been willing to lift a finger. Then there were those we all wished would go away.

                                                        1. re: MakingSense

                                                          MakingSense, thanks again very much for your assistance & wisdom! I had planned on serving a brunch casserole (in a crockpot), so that will require a fork to eat with, however, I am going to use small plates, so that people will just take a little bit of everything rather than carry around large plates piled with food. I just sent e-mails to the ticket/team members requesting that they RSVP, so I will know which candidates will definitely be attending. It's important to me that my husband get elected, because he wants this so badly & he's done a lot for our town as Chair of the Inland Wetlands Commission and other accomplishments. I just want to help him as much as I can...lol, I sure hope I'm not one of those wives everyone wishes would go away,...don't think I am, since I'm on the town committee and work well with everyone, LOL.
                                                          Thanks again,
                                                          -R

                                                    2. I recently had a birthday brunch for sons first birthday and didn't know how many would be attending - it was from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. We ended up with about 50 people and here is what we had (and what the hits and misses were) -

                                                      Spinach/Gruyere and Sausage/Fontina Stratas - These are your friend as they need to be made the night before. All you have to do is pop them in the oven that morning. I made several so I could stagger the baking times so that there were always 2 that were fresh. People cut their own slices so could take as much or as little as the wanted. A big hit.

                                                      Smoked Ham that I sliced and placed on a platter and set out rolls next to it. Some people ate it with the strata like a breakfast meat, others made small sandwiches out of the ham and rolls. I also set out some gourmet mustards and mayo.

                                                      Fruit Kabobs with yogurt dip. Another success. Just skewered the cubed fruit - makes nice presentation and easy to manage. Plus kids actually ate the fruit :)

                                                      Pesto Pasta Salad - I had soooo much of this left. Everybody liked it though and it can sit out for a some time. But we were eating it for days afterwards.

                                                      Green Salad - Delicious early on, but then the dressing makes the lettuce slimy. Wouldn't repeat.

                                                      Smoked Salmon and bagels. Very few people ate the salmon - I was surprised. It is also an expensive item. Skip it.

                                                      Basket of rolls, muffins, breads, etc.. with whipped butter, cream cheese. Of course everybody ate them up!

                                                      And I also served mimosas and bloody marys. And Costco/BJ's are the places to go for juice, eggs, breads, etc...

                                                      Good Luck!!

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: JennyHunter

                                                        Jenny, your son's birthday brunch food sounds so good! However, I don't think many of the items would work for our brunch, since people will be shaking hands a lot. Having a green salad would be a disaster, lol. Also I don't want to serve any alcohol....although I'm sure I may need a stiff drink when this is all over, LOL.
                                                        Thanks,
                                                        -R

                                                      2. If you have a waffle maker youy can make a bunch of raised waffle mix (yeast waffles) the night before and keep a pitcher of the mix next to the waffle maker and lt people make their own waffles or hire a teenager who needs the money and is reasonably responsible to make them.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: emilief

                                                          Waffles will be too difficult to cut while standing up. If this were a sit down brunch, that would be a great idea.
                                                          -R

                                                        2. The last time I had a buffet-style brunch I served 1) chicken in chicken gravy to put over hot buttered biscuits; 2) cheese strata with sausage, mushrooms, and green pepper; 3) baked ham "carve it yourself" with more biscuits to put it on; 4) hot scalloped apples; 5) ripe Mexican papaya cut in chunks and garnished with lime wedges; 6) assorted breads (Julekaka, blueberry muffins, babka, etc) 7) lots of coffee. Tea and brunch, served buffet style, are the most fun meals for entertaining. You can do most ahead of time and still have a spectacular table, really show off a little.